Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

President Signs Harper Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama has signed a bill today that removes an obsolete federal mandate requiring the distribution of a booklet reporting motor vehicle insurance costs.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by U.S. Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), eliminates the mandatory printing of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) annual booklet entitled, “Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information.”

The National Automobile Dealers Association says that this pamphlet compares differences in insurance costs among vehicles on the basis of damage susceptibility. However, the organization acknowledges that this publication is rarely used and is not useful. Harper echoed this claim.

“While this information is of value to insurance actuaries, it has been little to no use for consumers, for whom it is primarily intended,” said Harper, a second-term lawmaker representing Mississippi’s Third Congressional District. “This bill is another step in peeling back outdated and unnecessary rules that businesses must deal with on a daily basis.”

Transportation Department officials have distributed the publication since 1991, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 21 years. The Obama administration’s vehicle safety technical assistance document sent to Congress in 2011 prior to consideration of transportation reauthorization proposed repealing this requirement.

“A prospective buyer does not need a brochure from the federal government to obtain this information, since insurance agents are trained to provide advice on how model selection affects insurance premiums,” the White House wrote.

While the mandatory printing regulation would be eliminated, the NHTSA will maintain authority to publish this data on its website.